Another little noticed piece of news today was that Microsoft released Presence Controls for Microsoft Communicator. These are programmers widgets that can be used to embed presence awareness into any application. They allow other applications to get presence information from Communicator using Communicator’s scripting interface. The example cited was being able to see the availability of all team members working on a particular trouble ticket, from within a trouble ticket application.
As I pointed out in March of this year, the softphone is evolving into a desktop integration platform for VoIP. Expect to see presence become a widely used feature in all sorts of line-of-business applications. And, because presence doesn’t (yet) include the idea of relevance, expect to see many abuses of the technology as well. As Mike Gotta of the Burton Group said in the news piece: "Some people may not want to be pinged by someone they don’t know. There are some etiquette and user interface and communications techniques that developers have to define for the presence enablement of applications."